Date of Award

11-13-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education

First Advisor

Dr. Francis M. Kozub

Second Advisor

Dr. Douglas Collier

Third Advisor

Dr. Christopher Williams

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a core-lifting program on functional balance in persons with intellectual disabilities (ages 27 - 43). This study compared balance results from a group of young adults with intellectual disabilities to a comparison group made up of college aged, typically developing peers (ages 21-27). The intervention lasted six weeks and included one day of progressive powerlifting using three sets of six to eight repetitions as outlined by the Special Olympics Powerlifting Coaches Guide (Special Olympics, 2011). An important research question for this study was to determine if strength improvements in the target population were linked to balance. Results included a lack of association between task analysis scores and balance as measured by force plates (p > .05). Further posttest strength findings resulted in the comparison group significantly outscoring the experimental group on maximum squat rate of force development (ROFD), average squat ROFD, and squat maximum force, F(1, 15) = 5.19, p < .05, F(1, 15) = 21.99, p < .05, F(1, 15) = 28.02, p < .05 respectively. With respect to strength changes over the intervention, the experimental group did not improve in strength over the six week intervention (p > .05). Finally, no relationship was found between balance and strength during pre or posttesting which contradicts the notion that strength gains are associated with balance in these participants with intellectual disabilities. In summary, the intervention length was targeted as too short to achieve the desired strength changes.

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